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ways to reduce swelling?

Posted by chrisb on 3/28/04 at 09:41 (147996)

I'd appreciate if anyone knows any special tricks to bring down post-op swelling.

My surgery was 9 days ago and the incision is healing well, not much swelling there, stitches don't come out for another 2 weeks. Walking (using a walker, putting some weight on the foot) to the bathroom and back is pretty good and no pain. But my big toe and big toe joint is very swollen and painful, even when it is elevated. When I put it down my toes turn purple immediately and its even more painful. 3 days ago I thought this swelling was getting a tiny bit better but its worse now.

I'm keeping it constantly elevated, eating Advil(ibuprofen) and using cold packs every couple of hours. All this doesn't seem to be having much effect. Is there anything else I can try?

If it wasn't for the swelling I'd be ecstatic about my recovery so far.

Re: ways to reduce swelling?

Elaine T on 3/28/04 at 10:25 (147998)

Wish I could help. My doctor does things very different, and I had practically no swelling at all. I'm pretty sure that ice is only useful for the first 48 hours, beginning in the recovery room, and applied around the clock. I was not allowed to put any weight on my foot for two weeks, at which time my stitches came out. You can see your incision? I was in a plaster splint, which was very heavily padded with 'ace' bandage over it. My toes never turned colors. I personally think a phone to your surgeon would be in order tomorrow, and let him know exactly how much Advil you are taking.

Chris, I hope your discomfort ends soon.

Re: ways to reduce swelling?

Dr. Z on 3/28/04 at 15:59 (148007)

I agree . A call to your doctor is indicated. May need to fit with a compressin stocking. Ice behind the knee or ankle is helful. Any history of gout and or venous problems ?

Re: ways to reduce swelling?

chrisb on 3/29/04 at 09:27 (148042)

No gout or venous history -- but I have an enlarged big toe joint from an old injury. It never bothered me before but its that which throbs now. As if the swelling is concentrated there.
I'm not supposed to be flexing my ankle with the stitches in, but is there any exercise that would help reduce swelling?

Re: ways to reduce swelling?

Elaine T on 3/29/04 at 13:00 (148068)

Chris, did you call your surgeon yet? What did he say about what's going on?

Re: ways to reduce swelling?

chrisb on 3/29/04 at 19:15 (148099)

My local doc here who took the bandage off a few days ago didn't think it was hugely serious Elaine. He warned me it could continue for awhile. Only two ways to get the fluid moving out: elevation or using the foot, i.e. walking. I'm assuming it will improve but its certainly taking its time.

The good news is that aside from the swelling when I put my foot down I have no pain to spaek of. I'm putting a little more weight on it daily.

Your surgery was about 2 weeks earlier than mine I think. How's the walking/standing?

Re: ways to reduce swelling?

Elaine T on 3/29/04 at 20:25 (148104)

My surgery was March 8th. I was not allowed to stand on my foot at all until last Monday, and I am amazed at how well I'm walking, just amazed. Standing is not so good, it hurts to stand on for more than a couple minutes. As long as I'm walking, it's fine.